D2.1 Expectations and needs to improve societal resilience
All members of a population play a crucial role in the disaster management process. To fully leverage civilians’ capacity in coping with crises, it is critical to strengthen the coordination and engagement of authorities and emergency organizations with civil society to react and recover from crises efficiently. To be able to do so, we must first understand and recognize what authorities and emergency responders need from members of their communities to properly manage a crisis. These needs vary in their characteristics and depend on the phase of a crisis (before, during, or after). They address a wide range of aspects; needs related to the resources to have during an emergency, others related to preparedness activities before a disaster occurs, others related to what information to share and which communication channels to use, others that extend to the relationships between community members and how these social bonds could help in crisis management.
The main objective of this deliverable is to identify what emergency responders and authorities need from their civil societies to better handle a crisis and to enhance the resilience level of the society. This is performed on a wide scale including first responders from six European countries (Spain, Sweden, Romania, Norway, Italy, and France) and Israel. This allows for capturing various experiences and different backgrounds that enriches the results and shows the differences and similarities across the countries and backgrounds. Additionally, this deliverable aims to explore the risk awareness level in each of the participating countries, as being risk-aware is part of being resilient.
To collect the needed information and gather the authorities and emergency responders’ needs and expectations we used two main methods; an online survey and semistructured interviews. The online survey was hosted on SurveyMonkey for 45 days and it was launched in the seven countries participating in the project. We used snowball sampling to reach the targeted members of authorities and emergency organizations to fill in the questionnaire. Regarding the semi-structured interviews, we carried out 30 interviews, distributed across members of law enforcement organizations, governmental agencies, first responders, and members of health services. The interviews allowed the experts to talk more about their experiences and reflect on them while defining what is needed from the members of society to face a crisis. We used the data from the interviews to complement our findings from the survey and supplement our results.
We obtained a different number of survey responses in each country; the maximum we got was 5154 in Romania, while the minimum was 17 in Sweden. In between, we have 227 from Israel, 186 from Norway, 173 from Spain, 36 from Italy, and 24 from France. These responses allowed us to come up with robust conclusions and results in Romania, Spain, Norway, and Israel, but unfortunately, we were not able to do the same in Italy, France, and Sweden due to the unrepresentative sample size. On the other hand, we had 30 interviews, five from Israel, Norway, and Romania, four from Spain, Sweden, and Italy, and only three from France. The combined results from both the questionnaire and the interviews indicate that authorities and emergency responders value the involvement of the members of society and volunteers in handling disastrous situations, but this should not come at the cost of the civilians’ safety and wellbeing. Also, there are some differences and similarities between the needs and expectations depending on the country and the job profile. Regarding risk awareness level, authorities are more aware of the different types of risks more than other members of emergency organizations.
This deliverable identifies what different members of emergency organizations and government officials expect from society to better handle a crisis. This is done across seven countries with different characteristics. The results from this deliverable, first help to bridge the gap between what is needed by authorities and what is expected by the population (D1.2). It highlights what is needed so this could be used while developing solutions for crisis management and improving societal resilience. It also sheds the light on some of the similarities and differences between different countries, which could be useful when contextualizing solutions and defining policies to enhance societal resilience. Finally, it provides information about which entities are trusted by the community which could help in designing messages and communication activities during crisis times; to use the trusted entities as the interface between emergency organizations and authorities, and the population.